I’m making a series of big chunky mistakes. Currently this draft of rules I’m writing up is very very wordy (about 35,000 words in fact) and I can’t seem to get out of that mode. But but but… I need to finish it. It’s like a block, I need to finish writing up the rules so I can put it aside to move onto the next thing, be it playtesting or working on something else.
I’ve heard the mantra “fail early, fail often” bandied about and while I know it applies to products more than hobbies, I can related to what it means emotionally. It’s better to try lots of small things and fail, then get hung up on one big thing and never finish it or waste all your time on it.
In essence I’ve written two or even three throwaway sourcebooks to get this point and I’m now thinking that to get to a final product, I’d need to start again and split it into smaller chunks of work. That’s daunting. A core book with individual supplements for each of the four major pantheons (Angelic/Demon, Tuatha De Dannan/Formori, Olympian, Aesir) and also separate supplements for Valiant Mortals and Magic Practitioners. This insight come out of first writing a setting doc and now attempting to write a rules doc.
Partly it’s the sunk cost fallacy at work, but partly also doubt. I think I’ve been here before, not once but several times. Doubt is rather evil. It gets into the back of your mind, it preys on your guilt about not being able to work on it enough, it clouds you’re perspective where seeing “similar” projects pop up, questions how you value your project, makes you think that you’re simply not good enough to pull it off.
My plan to try and offset this was to focus on character creation. Get that settled and put it online. Get some folk to try and create characters and see what happens, see what people like or don’t like. Right now the “process” is complete, but I have to detail the different pantheons, gifts/faults and magic/supernatural powers. All the fun setting-specific stuff.
Ah, but as I said doubt is evil. For example, I’ve seen a number of blog posts and tweets about “Mythender” characters. As it turns out, someone had a similar idea (get people to use the character creation as a way of playtesting/feedback), did it before me, with a similar concept (it appears to be an RPG about gods and heroes), they are much further along in terms of progress (and looks better thought out) and written by someone with experience (while I have… well none). You can see how doubt is twisting my perspective, turning it in on itself.
I haven’t looked at it the Mythender character creation yet, so it is quite unfair of me to moan like this. I’m sure it’s very good judging from the amount of folks talking about it and putting characters online. And if I can put aside my own concerns about Lost Heroes, I’ll probably give it a good look over soon.
Okay, that’s it. I’ll stop moaning now. Therapeutic rant over. On to writing that section on Gifts and Faults that I’ve been putting off for the last week.